Invensys Puts Baan On The Market

The planned sale is part of the British company's efforts to sell off more than half its businesses to stem its rising tide of debt.
ERP vendor Baan is again up for sale. Current owner Invensys plc says it plans to sell off more than half its businesses in an attempt to assuage its mounting debt. Invensys, a U.K. automation software maker, purchased Baan Co. for more than $700 million in May 2000.

The Baan purchase was made a year after Invensys had bought a smaller ERP vendor, Marcom Solutions Inc., for about $60 million. At the time of the Baan purchase, Invensys said it planned to spend as much as $1.5 billion to return Baan to profitability. Baan was losing nearly $1 million a day and had net losses of $309.6 million in 1999.

Invensys' decision to sell the Baan unit and other assets will leave it with one core business focused on production management and a rail systems division.

In a trading update Invensys released on Tuesday, it said operating profit for the year ended March 31 is expected to be approximately $393.8 million. Its shares have been on a downward slide for more than a year, falling more than 85%.

The expected revenue generated by the divisions--including Baan--that Invensys plans to sell is about $4.57 billion. Proceeds raised from the sales will be used to pay off debt and fund pension schemes, as well as for investments required to grow market share in the remaining production-management and rail-systems divisions, the company says.